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Borrowstounness and District
Chapter XII. The "Trustees for the two pennies in the pint"

1. The Act of 1744: The first Harbour and Municipal Board : Names of Trustees: Their Powers—2. The first Minute-Book and its Index : The "Overseers" and their Duties—3. Appointment of Officials: Harbour Improvements : Contentions with Local Brewers Begin— 4. Trustees Become Alarmed : the Military Sent for : A New and Zealous Officer: "Cask and All"—5. John Henderson, "Shore-master": Purchase of Boat: Frequent Damage to Piers—6. Brewers' Appeal to Justices : Attempted Compromises—7. Dr. John Roebuck Becomes a Trustee : An Important Letter from Him—8. M'Laren's Law Plea—9. A Diplomatic Move and a Long Letter—10. The Greenland Whale Fishing: The "Peggy" Causes Trouble: A "Scene" at a Meeting—11. Trustees Arrange for Renewal of Act: Additional Powers Wanted—12. Petition to Parliament: The Duke's Tutors Recommend Inclusion of Powers Concerning the " Streets and Avenues."


The 8th day of May, 1744, saw the beginning of municipal government in Borrowstounness. For some considerable time prior to this the trade of the harbour had increased so much and the burden of its upkeep, which had apparently been borne privately,1 had become so heavy that the shipmasters and merchants of the port had to seriously deliberate on what course was to be followed for the future. They ultimately decided to apply to Parliament, and received, after a good deal of trouble and anxiety, an Act in the fifteenth year of the reign of George the Second. Under the Act James Main, James Cassels, William Muir, David Stevenson, George Adam, Duncan

Glasfurd, Thomas Grindlay, James Glasfurd, and John Drummond, shipmasters; Andrew Cowan, James Tod, Charles Addison, William Shead, John Pearson, and John Walker, merchants, were appointed trustees, and power was given to them to impose " a duty of two pennies Scots, or one-sixth part of a penny sterling (over and above the duty of Excise), upon every pint of ale and beer which should be brewed for sale, brought in, tapped, or sold within the town of Borrowstounness and liberties thereof, in the county of Linlithgow, for the clearing, deepening, rebuilding, repairing, and improving the harbour and piers of Borrowstounness, and also for putting in execution all other the powers given in said Act." The duty was declared to be leviable from the 1st day of June, 1744, and for the term of twenty-five years thereafter. The preamble to the Act narrates that the town was very well situated for carrying on foreign and coasting trade for the benefit of the country thereabouts, and of the town of Borrowstounness in particular, there being many coal and salt works very near to the town. These advantages, it continues, could not be obtained unless the harbour, which was then in a very bad and ruinous condition, were effectually repaired and made commodious. This would require a very considerable sum of money, and the town had no revenues to answer the expense. The inhabitants therefore humbly craved His Majesty to give them authority to levy this imposition or duty. As we have just seen, the request was granted.

This power was renewed by Parliament for other twenty-five years in 1769, and extended with some enlargement of powers over the parish; and the renewal took place again in 1794 for twenty-one years, also with enlarged powers, including the right to exact an anchorage duty of a penny-halfpenny per ton on every ship entering the harbour. We shall deal more fully with these renewals later. Most fortunately the minutes of the trustees have all been preserved. They have been composed and written with the greatest care; the sederunts are all numbered, and each minute-book contains a copious index, so that even to this day it is much easier to find whatever is wanted than in modern minute-books which have no indices at all.

To most of our townspeople, and even, we think, to many of our City Fathers, the existence of these interesting old minutes is unknown.


The first minute-book covers from 8th May, 1744, to 10th August, 1787, a period of forty-three years—the whole of the twenty-five years of the first Act, and nearly the whole of the time of the second Act. The index runs to twelve closely written pages, and is a first-class synopsis of the contents of the volume. Indeed, were it not that the space required cannot be given in our present narrative, we should have reproduced it in full, with some annotations under each entry. Suitable annotations would in effect and with little trouble change its primary character from pure index to useful narrative, and yet every word of the wonderful synopsis would be retained. During the forty-three years embraced in minute-book No. 1 there were 329 sederunts, including not only general meetings of the whole trustees, but of the overseers or county gentlemen appointed under the Acts, and of the Shore, Streets, Water, and other special Committees that were from time to time appointed. Copies of certain mortgages for loans advanced, with various agreements and contracts also appear in the book. There were considerable changes among the trustees as time went on owing to deaths and resignations, but the vacancies were duly filled up after the procedure prescribed by the Act in such cases had been followed. The rule was, that notice of the time and place of meeting for the election of such new trustees should be fixed at or on the Market Cross and on the outside of the church door of the town at least ten days before the meeting.

The 1774 Act, it should be mentioned, consisted of fifteen sections, and nominated certain county gentlemen as " overseers." The duty of these overseers, of whom three made a quorum, was to meet at Borrowstounness on the first Wednesday in June. J745, and yearly thereafter, to examine the receipts and disbursements connected with the duty.

The overseers named in the first Act were the Most Noble James Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, the Right Honourable David Earl of Buchan, the Right Honourable John Earl of Stair, the Right Honourable John Earl of Hopetoun, the Right Honourable David Lord Cardross, the Right Honourable Lord Torphichen, the Right Honourable Lord Archibald Hamilton, the Honourable Charles Hope Weir-Hall of Craigie, Esq.; Sir James Cunningham, Bart.; Sir James Dalzell, Bart.; George Dundas of Dundas, Esq.; Alexander Hamilton of Inverwick, Esq.; Thomas Sharp of Houston, Esq.; Alexander Hamilton of Pencaitland, Esq.; John Stewart of Eastbinning, Esq.; Robert Ramsay of Blackcraig, Esq.; George Dundas of Duddingston, Esq.; Andrew Marjoribanks of Marjoribanks, Esq.; Walter Hamilton of West Port, Esq.; James Glan of Longcroft, Esq.; John Gellon of Wallhouse, Esq.; together with the Knight of the Shire of the county of Linlithgow, or any three or more of them.


There were numbers of brewers in the town, at Kinneil, and at Borrowstoun also, and it was this fact that suggested to the promoters of the Act the idea of raising a revenue out of an impost duty on ale and beer.

The trustees from the first had their hands full of new schemes. They also had many contentions with the brewers regarding the exaction of the new duties. There was no standing chairman, the trustees electing one of their number to be preses at each sederunt, and so we find that the work of conducting the meetings was shared by nearly all the members from time to time.

At one of the first meetings it was agreed that the Act of Parliament be "publickly advertised by tuck of drum thorough the town." One George Robertson was appointed officer for convening the trustees to their several meetings, and his allowance for each meeting was twopence sterling, and Thomas Glasfurd, in Bo'ness, was appointed collector of the duty at £15 sterling as a "cellary for said office yearly." Doubts were expressed by the trustees at their very first meeting as to the proper interpretation to be put on certain parts of the Act, and it was resolved " that two of their number should go to Edinburgh and consult ane able lawier with respect to-such parts as seem intricate to them." At a later meeting the advice of the " lawier was read, and the cost thereof— £2 10s. 6d.—ordered to be paid.

It was agreed by a majority to clean and deepen "for the conveniency of shipping coming into the harbour " the east side of the wester key (quay), and two of the trustees were appointed to meet with the masons who were last employed in building at the "keys," and "commune" with them as to the work. In due course these trustees reported that they had "communed" with the masons of " Lymkills" anent building the pier.

The brewers not only refused to pay the collector, but they compeared before the trustees when summoned, and still refused to pay. On 19th July, 1744, they "gave in" a letter to the trustees, in which they intimated that they had unanimously agreed to pay trustees sixpence each boll of malt "grinded at their milns," and in no other shape would they agree unless "stressed." If the impost of two pennies per pint were enforced, the letter continued, they were afraid the whole town would feel the bad consequences thereof. This, by order of the whole brewers in the town, was signed by James Young, William Cunningham, Alexander Taylor, Robert Cram, and Robert Cowan. The trustees unanimously refused the proposal, considering it quite contrary to the Act, and agreed to give each brewer a new summons for another meeting. The brewers-were all again charged to make payment, and still refused. The trustees then resolved to "distress" them. Feeling ran so high apparently that no local officer could be persuaded to do this, and the trustees were obliged to send to Edinburgh for a messenger and witnesses. These came on 14th September, 1744, but found all the brewers' doors shut. Thereupon it was agreed by the trustees that "Letters of Opening Doors" should be sent for.


Things were becoming serious, and John Walker and William Shead, two of the trustees, refused to act any longer. It is evident that there had been many "threatenings against the persons of the several trustees by the brewers." In consequence of this the trustees agreed that Letters of Lawburrows be sent for and executed against the brewers; and, further, that application be made for a party of the military to protect the officers in " distressing " them for payment of their arrears.

Three of the " overseers," Mr. John Gillon of Wallhouse. Andrew Marjoriebanks of Marjoriebanks, and Sir James Dalyell of Binns, met with the brewers and endeavoured to have the dispute adjusted, but things did not improve. James Young, one of the brewers, took out Letters of Lawburrows against James Tod, Andrew Cowan, and Duncan Glasfurd, three of the trustees, and the brewers in the " towns of Borrowstoun and Inveravon suspended the decreets of the trustees against them, alleging that they were not within the libertys and privileges of Bo'ness." All this caused the trustees to engage a James Addison, writer in Edinburgh, to advise them.

John Walkinshaw of Scotstoun and Robert Paterson, merchants, were elected in room of Walker and Shead, resigned.

A new officer was appointed in the person of one George Rodger. The officer's duties had increased very much owing to the disputes with the brewers. The trustees were convened oftener, and he had also to deliver copies of the brewers' charges, and to summon and do everything necessary concerning the brewers. For all this he was to be allowed " therty shillings per annum." Rodger having agreed to the Balary and accepted office, the collector was ordered " to pay him 10s. in part, and to take receipt for the same." He appears to have been a zealous officer. A proclamation was made about this time by

"Took of Drum" commissioning any person or persons "whatsomever" that shall see any ale or beer coming into the town without permit from the collector to stop the same, and thereupon give notice to the collector or any of the trustees that the same might be seized. Whoever did so was to be allowed one-half of all such ale. Rodger soon after appointment made a seizure of a cask containing 20 pints of ale brought into the town without paying the duty. The trustees confiscated it for the use of the harbour in terms of the Act, and ordained that it should be "exposed to publick roup after intimation by Took of Drum, and to be set up at 2s. stg., cask and all." It realised 2s. 6d. sterling, the officer receiving one-half and the collector the other for behoof of the harbour.


John Henderson, who had prior to the 1744 Act, been appointed by the shipmasters for taking care of the piers and levying the duties, was granted a commission from the trustees to continue in that capacity under them. His office is described as "shoremaster."

The contract for making additions to the easter pier (not what is now the easter pier, but, as we think, the east side of the wester pier) was with John Miller, John Clark, and John Wilson, masons in Lymkills. It is engrossed in the minute book, and contains a detailed specification of the work. The progress of the masons in preparing the stones was apparently leisurely, and a letter was despatched to see " when they intend to come over and build the said pier, and also to make enquirie concerning boats to bring over the stones."

There appears to have been some difficulty in getting over the materials for building the pier, but it was solved by the trustees purchasing for that purpose an Arbroath boat which was then lying here. It cost £60 sterling, and the shoremaster was authorised to let out or freight the same to any person who might want to freight her to any place at any time when not needed for carrying stones for the pier. After the pier was finished the "ston boat" became unprofitable. It was then exposed to public roup and sale in the house of James Rennie, brewer in Borrowstounness, and bought by Charles Addison at £66 10s.

Great damage was every now and then done by shipping to the west side of the wester pier, and also to other parts of both piers, through shipmasters not securing their vessels as they ought. As a result, the shoremaster was specially instructed to report damage at once, so that the trustees might recover the cost of repairing it from the proper persons, and this order was to be duly intimated to all shipmasters.

George Adam, one of the original trustees, having died, Captain George Walker was unanimously elected in his place. Some time later Robert Paterson, an assumed trustee, having died, and David Stevenson, an original trustee, having refused to act longer, the trustees unanimously elected John Falconer and John Addison, both shipmasters in Bo'ness, in their places.


The trustees had taken up a firm attitude with the brewers from the beginning, and it was only right they should do so. The duty was the only source of revenue for the maintenance of the town and harbour, and it must also be remembered the trustees had, on the strength of the new impost, undertaken some costly improvements. They therefore insisted on their tax. The brewers were stubborn in their refusals, and ultimately decided to appeal to the Quarter Sessions of the Justices of the Peace for Linlithgow, to be held there on 27th October, 1747, for a final and conclusive judgment in terms of the Act.

Intimation of the appeal was sent to the trustees. The notice ran—"Whereas we the Brewers within the Town of Borness & libertys thereof judging ourselves to be egregiously leised & prejudged by the trustees for the two pennies on the pint of ale or beer brewed or vended by us within the said bounds by them & their clerks daylie distressing us with charges of horning & in consequence thereof threatning us with poinding or imprisonment; & as by Act of Parliament proposing the said impost we are entitled to appeal to the Justices of his MajIe' Peace at their next Quarter Sessions for redress of our grivances :

"Therefor we Alexander Taylor and William Dick, Brewers in Borness, for ourselves and in name of the whole Brewers within the town and priveleges of Bo'ness, doe hereby intimate to you William Anderson, Clerk for the said trustees and collector of the said impost that we have appealled and do hereby appeal to the Justices of the Peace for redress of our grivances to be timeously given unto you and them befor their next Quarter Sessions the 27th curt: and protests you may pretend no ignorance thereof nor insist any further dilligence against us."

They took instruments in the hands of James Clelland, notary public, and the document was dated 9th October, 1747, and signed before George Wood, merchant in Bo'ness, and James Baird, indweller there.

Fully two years before this appeal the trustees, to ease the situation with the brewers, agreed to compromise by offering to take eightpence for each barrel of ale consisting of twelve Scots gallons, and to take bills for the duty. The overseers concurred in the proposal, but it is not very clear whether the brewers accepted. It rather appears that they resented anything whatever in the way of impost, and did all they could, by blank refusal to pay in some cases, and tiresome delay in others, to annoy the trustees. The above appeal seems another instance of their methods. The minutes contain no record of the result, but as we find a continuance of requests to the "deficients" to make up their arrears we may take it that the justices dismissed the appeal. As time wore on the brewers and vintners became reconciled to the tax, and during the last ten years of the Act there was little trouble. The business promptitude of the trustees all through this difficult matter is commendable.


On 20th September, 1762, the trustees filled three vacancies by the appointment of Dr. John Roebuck, lessee of the coal and salt works at Bo'ness, and John and Robert Cowan, merchants there. All three accepted office, and served the town for many years. The minutes disclose that the doctor, whose character and wonderful career we deal with in another chapter, had given the trustees cause for alarm a year or two before his appointment. On his becoming the Duke's lessee his enterprising energy made itself manifest by his at once commencing operations at the harbour in connection with the north dyke of his proposed "coalfold." The trustees hastily summoned a notary, and protested against such procedure. Despite the protest, the work went on. A deputation of three then called for him, but found he was from home. These gentlemen, however, solemnly warned his manager that if the north dyke was persisted in without giving the trustees an opportunity of talking with Dr. Roebuck they would apply to the Lords of Session for interdict. The threat was not carried out, although the work appears to have proceeded as usual. Two years later we find the doctor interviewing some of the trustees at his house. He then pointed out that he wanted to do the town good; explained that as soon as he got his mine set agoing he would be shipping coal extensively; and that he would help to enlarge the quays and make a basin at the harbour to keep it from silting up. The following letter was received by the trustees a few days after: —

"Gentlemen,—Being extremely willing to cultivate and maintain a good correspondence with the inhabitants of Bo'ness, and as far as in my power to promote their interest and accommodation, I take this opportunity to communicate to such of your members, whom I had not the pleasure of seeing at my house on Saturday, that I propose to carry down a waggon road on the west side of the west key and on the east side of the east key for the greater dispatch of vessels coming here to load coals and salt. As in the execution of my design it may be necessary to remove some of the polls on the key for my own accommodation and for the convenience of carts passing up and down the key with merchants' goods, I propose to erect new ones in place of those removed and to plant iron rings by the side of the key in such manner as shall not endanger the key and at the same time secure ships moored thereto. And for the more speedy shipping of coal, and to prevent the same from being a nuisance to the pier, I propose to erect two cranes, but in such a manner as shall be no injury to the pier or inconvenience to the merchants or shipmasters, but occasionally may be used for their benefit.

"Being much concerned for the present state of the harbour, which in a little time must injure, if not ruin, the trade of the town, and understanding from the gentlemen with me on Saturday that the public funds of the town are such as will not allow instantly to remedy the growing evil, I offered to them to advance in the name of the company any sum not exceeding four hundred pounds, free of interest, for executing this laudable and desirable purpose, desiring only to be repaid by receipt of the harbour's revenue after payment of the present debts due thereon, which proposal or promise I still adhere to and oblige myself to perform in case you signify your concurrence therewith.

"I hope, gentlemen, you will consider what I have said as flowing solely from a desire to live in peace and harmony with the gentlemen of Bo'ness, and to contribute as much as in my power to the prosperity of the trade of the town.

"If the whole proposals are agreeable to you I shall be obliged to you if you will enter them in your sederunt book; and, if not, that you would favour me with your answer.—I am, gentlemen, your most humble servant, (signed) John Roebuck, for self, and coal company. Kinneil, 14th September, 1762."

All the proposals were agreed to by the trustees, and the worthy doctor, as we have seen, was made a trustee a few days afterwards.


We must now refer to one other aspect of a vexed question. Who was liable to pay the duty under the Act? It is disclosed in a law plea of a somewhat trifling character which dragged on for at least six years, and was ultimately settled by arbitration. The process was at the instance of John Crawfurd, tide surveyor here, and John M'Laren, vintner at New Halls,2Queensferry, against the trustees. The trustees had seized, because of failure to pay the impost, some small beer and strong ale, which, so far as we can judge, came from M'Laren to Crawfurd for his private consumption. The summons, the trustees said, " seems to insinuate that everybody has free liberty to bring in what quantity of ale or beer they please for the use of private families without being liable to the duty of two pennies in the pint." They considered this clearly against the express words of their Act, and unanimously resolved to defend. Some years later we find the process before the Lords of Session, who had ordered proof to be led as to the practice of other burghs levying a similar impost. Between the time of serving the action and the time we are now speaking of the composition of the local board had considerably changed, and there was now a strong desire, especially among the new members, to have the case settled either by amicable arrangements or arbitration. After a great deal of trouble the latter course was adopted. The methods taken by the trustees to obtain this were somewhat diplomatic, though rather clumsily executed. It was a common custom with the trustees in the conduct of their business to remit correspondence and interviews, not to their clerk, but to those of their number who, by reason of some special aptitude, were regarded as likely to bring the matter in hand to a successful issue. We find, then, that on 19th April, 1763, the trustees resolved to have this "vexacious, tedious, expensive, and troublesome" process: brought to a submission, and that two of their number, Messrs.

John and Robert Cowan, were desired to write to Mr. M'Laren, in name of the trustees, to see if he would agree to this. They were further instructed to send the letter by express messenger in order to have it safely delivered and to bring back an immediate answer.


The tenor of the letter is as follows: —

"Bo'ness, 13th April, 1763.—Sir,—At a meeting here yesterday of the trustees for managing the harbour and collecting the impost appropriate for that purpose, they, after conversing with Mr. Crawfurd in the meeting and with his desire and approbation, recommended it to us to write you that they and Mr. Crawfurd will be glad to see you at this place on Saturday first, the 16th curt., to dine with them at the house of Mr. John Bain (Bain was a vintner or spirit merchant, and the trustees had a room or office there at 30s. per annum) at 2 o'clock in order to attempt, by entering into a submission or otherways, the doing away with that tedious, troublesome, and expensive law plea still depending before the Lords, as it has been for many years. It's but very lately that we were called upon to take share of the public business and burden as trustees, but it is much our opinion that if Mr. Crawfurd and the trustees can do this—either away at once among themselves or to submit it—it must save money to the fund here, and also to you and Mr. Crawfurd, as well as much trouble, as we hear it has already been so expensive and vexatious a plea, and tedious, that it has lasled since the commencement of our late war, which is truly shameful, especially when it's considered it may yet last as long. You'll please write us in course that if you decline giving the trustees the meeting they may take their measures accordingly.

"However willing some of them are to have this process ended in an amicable way, yet if you refuse to hearken to reasonable measures they cannot, and must not, drop it, but must see its issue, although at double the expense of money, time, and trouble which it has already cost.

"If we may unasked give you our opinion, it is in assuring you that you shd. gladly embrace this occasion of ending matters.

"This offer is made you merely owing to a dislike that several of our members have to law pleas in general, and this in particular (as it runs away with the public money to pay advocates and writers to defend a petty process in place of masons and barrowmen to defend our harbour from the damage of the sea, &c.), than from any bad state this particular process is in at present as they are by their advocates, &c., encouraged at least as much to persist in it. We say it is therefore our private advice that you should gladly accept the present invitation.—We are, &c.,

(Signed) "John & Robt. Cowan."

"P.S.—In place of sending you this by post, as we intended, we send it to you on purpose, so you'll please to answer it p. the bearer, k let us know if the trustees may positively expect you on Saturday or not."

The dinner never came off, for the messenger returned with a refusal, and the statement that Mr. M'Laren would not move in the matter himself, having left it all in the hands of his agent. As we have said, however, the dispute was ultimately settled by arbitration.


In the sixties of the eighteenth century the Greenland whale fishing had been prosecuted with great briskness by some of the enterprising local merchants, and quite a number of whaling ships belonged to the port. When not in Greenland these vessels lay alongside the piers. With the greatly increased commerce, however, all the available quay space at the harbour was required for regular traders. Therefore we find the trustees on 21st July, 1763, declaring " That the Greenland ships cannot be laid by the sides of the piers during the interval of fishing without great prejudice to the trade of the town by stopping the loading and unloading of other vessels, therefore the trustees have resolved that they shall lie only in the middle of the harbour at equal distances from each pier, and do order John Kidd, havenmaster, to be served with a copy of this their resolution."

Mr. Charles Addison, one of the trustees, and a member of the firm of Charles Addison & Sons, merchants and brewers, owned a Greenland ship called the "Peggy." In September, 1764, she was reported as being "lying in the best part of the harbor which greatly interrupts the loading and unloading of other trading vessels through the winter," and the shoremaster was instructed to tell Mr. Addison to remove her out of the way. This he did, and Mr. Addison's "response" was that he had no answer to give the trustees. They again requested the shoremaster to ask Mr. Addison (who was not present either at this or the previous meeting), before two creditable witnesses, to remove the "Peggy" into the middle of the harbour, "where she was in use to lie in former years," and to report. Mr. Addison found that his colleagues were not to be trifled with, attended the next meeting, and agreed to remove the vessel alongside the "Oswald," on the trustees employing labourers to "throw a ditch" to let her up. They consented. At same meeting Mr. Addison promised to immediately pay up his arrears of the impost duty, which were then considerable. It is possible that Mr. Addison's stubborness in the matter of the "Peggy" was caused by the urgency with which the trustees had been pressing him to clear off his arrears of duty. Be that as it may, an explosion took place at the succeeding sederunt. The shoremaster there reported that he had told Mr. Addison that the ditch was in progress, and desired that he (Addison) might remove the ship as far as he could meantime. In reply, Mr. Addison had refused to remove her until the ditch was completed. Then we find it minuted—"Mr. Charles Addison himself being present at this meeting confirmed the Report of the Shoremaster, and when he also took occasion to treat some of the trustees in a very ungenteel manner. But the trustees being willing to overcome evil with good do hereby order their Shoremaster to throw the proposed ditch with all expedition that no excuse for Mr. Addison may remain."

In the next minute we read—"Charles Addison upon hearing the last Sederunt read, which was wrote after he left the meeting, and finding it contains what he considers to be hurtful to him and such facts as did not happen at said meeting, particularly that he had used some of the trustees at said meeting ungenteely, insisted that this should be altered and the facts insert in the Sederunt of this meeting as they really happened, which request was denied him by the meeting: he therefore hereby protests that the facts be insert in ye Sedt. of this meeting, which are as follows: —

"That he, the said Chas. Addison, in the course of conversation called John Falconer, one of the trustees, a Fool, to which Mr. Falconer answered by calling the said Chas. Addison a Base Rascal, and thereupon the said Chas. Addison took Instruments. The Trustees in answer to this protest have no return to make to it, but adhere to Sed. 185 (where they resolved as we saw, to overcome evil with good & instructed the harbourmaster to carry through the ditch with all expedition) and till called upon in another manner will enter no further upon particulars in relation to this affair."

At the following meeting in October Mr. Addison was not present, but at the next, which was not held until 7th January of the following year (1765), Mr. Addison was not only present, but presided. As nothing more appears in the minutes concerning the disturbing but innocent "Peggy," we hope that during the interval she had been duly moored in the middle of the harbour beside the "Oswald," that the arrears of his dues had been duly squared, and that the unpleasantness between parties had been buried with the passing of the old year.


Three years prior to the expiry of the first Act the trustees set about applying to Parliament for a renewal of their power to exact the duty of two pennies Scots, and this was granted about two years before the expiry of the original Act. The new Act ran from the 24th day of June, 1767, until the 24th day of June, 1769, and from thence during the term of twenty-five years. It will be noted that the period between 1767 and 1769 was already included in the first Act. The trustees, however, in their second application had asked and received liberty to impose the duty not only in the town and liberties thereof, but in the whole parish. In order then to give the town the advantage of the revenue of the extended area, the Act gave special power to levy the impost over the whole parish between 1767 and 1769, as the twenty-five years of the new Act did not really begin to run until the latter year.

The new Act, while re-enacting almost the whole of the terms of the old one, also gave the trustees some additional powers. The sederunts of the trustees towards the close of the first period disclose their efforts for renewal. They found it of il great consequence " to obtain such, the harbour being again in a ruinous condition, and the funds on hand only sufficient to meet the debts contracted. Dr. Roebuck was asked to immediately see the tutors of the then Duke of Hamilton, and obtain their "approbation and concurrence." He was also to discuss the proposal to get powers to bring fresh water to the town for the benefit thereof and of the shipping. The trustees soon met again "to know what conversation Dr. Roebuck had with the tutors." The doctor reported they were "altogether ready and willing to contribute their utmost endeavours for obtaining the renewal." With regard to the fresh-water proposal, the tutors "thought that this in no respect would be improper."


At the same meeting Mr. Walkinshaw, Mr. James Main, and Mr. Charles Addison were appointed to meet together and draw up the petition proposed to be presented to Parliament, and also a memorial for the member of Parliament, who was to be charged with the delivery of the petition. Both documents were submitted to the trustees at their next sederunt. Regarding the petition, it is minuted, "The trustees made some little alterations and additions thereon, and now think the same expressed in a pretty natural way: therefore order their clerk to get the same extended by any having a plain hand on large paper in order to be signed:" Messrs. Charles Addison and John Cowan were appointed to wait upon the Hon. Charles Hope Vere with the petition and memorial when extended and signed. But prior to waiting upon this gentleman they were also to wait upon the Duke of Hamilton's Commissioners at Hamilton and get their approbation. A fortnight later the delegates reported they had been at Hamilton, where they were presented to His Grace's tutors, Mr. Muir and Mr. Andrew Steuart. The tutors agreed to the petition, but recommended the trustees to also pray for liberty to apply part of their revenues towards repairing and keeping in good repair the streets of the town and the passages and avenues leading to it.

To this suggestion the trustees agreed. They stipulated, however, that the then acting trustees should be continued in the next Act, with power to name such new members as would make up their number to fifteen, and with full power to choose new trustees in the same way as in the old Act. And to prevent any misunderstanding as to the naming of new trustees, it was resolved to send a letter the next day to the Duke's tutors, "with the names of the present trustees and one more—the present number being only fourteen—for their approbation."

The cost of the deputation of two going to Hamilton was £6 19s. 5d. The expenses of Mr. Hamilton, "our Sollicitor at London" in connection with the renewal, amounted to £278 10s. 8d.

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